France: Unicopa and Terrena group their pigs

03-09-2008 | |
France: Unicopa and Terrena group their pigs

Two large French cooperatives have joined their pig businesses creating a group that produces 2.2 million pigs annually. Their flagship product: Brocéliande hams.

On September 1, 2008 the cooperative groups Unicopa and Terrena announced the merger of their pig businesses to create a large pig industry in the west of France.

“With the entry of Terrena, the new entity will have over 2.2 million pigs and bring together nearly 1,000 producers in the regions Brittany, Pays-de-la-Loire and Poitou-Charentes,” the co-operatives explain in a statement.

Terrena pork also joined the Initia platform for marketing and export of live pigs. “With nearly five million pigs, Initia reinforces its position as a major player in the market for pork in France with 20% of pigs marketed and has a strong sense of involvement in fixing the price of pork,” the press release said.

Special products
The partnership agreement also provides a minority stake for Terrena in specialty products of international private company Argoat Le Hir Brocéliande.

This subsidiary of Unicopa posts the third largest industrial processed products on the French market, after US giant Smithfield Foods and Fleury Michon.

The four factories of Brocéliande (Loudéac, Villers-Bocage, Bécherel, Roanne) process the equivalent of 1.6 million pigs into 55,000 tonnes of deli-meat, including 25,000 tonnes of ham, sold at supermarkets. The brand Brocéliande is gaining reputation as a branded product.

Radical change
The agreement between Unicopa and Terrena marks a new step in bringing the two cooperative groups together, who are already allies with their single central purchasing point for agricultural supplies.

For Terrena the joining with Unicopa is a radical change of strategy. So far, Terrana was allied with pork Arca, the third pork producer in France, but just got rid of them, refusing to follow the adventure of a merger with Breton pig giant pig Cooperl, the first French pig group.

The merger Arca-Cooperl is indeed imminent, since it should be in effect on 2 September and endorsed on 4 September by delegates of the two groups.

For Terrena, the choice of this new partner is not trivial because Unicopa comes to divest its fresh poultry industry.

Related Website
• Unicopa  (French)
• Terrana  (French)

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